Clara Barton

Audio / Produced by The High Calling


On a bloody Civil War battlefield, depleted surgeons were down to dressing wounds with corn husks when Clara Barton—the angel of the battlefield—arrived with a wagonload of bandages and medical supplies.

Bullets whizzed overhead, and artillery boomed in the distance as Miss Barton and her staff set to work. They cradled the heads of suffering soldiers. They held boys' hands. In a local farmhouse, they prepared food for the men. They took water to the wounded.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Clara Barton never planned to found a movement. In the heat of war, she wasn't planning her legacy or sketching out the American Red Cross. She applied her skills to the task at hand, and that was enough—as it often is—in the high calling of our daily work.

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

(Matt. 25:37-40)